erusalem: Mark Rylance to star

Jerusalem: On St George's Day, the morning of the local county fair, Johnny Byron, local waster and modern day Pied Piper, is a wanted man. The council officials want to serve him an eviction notice, his children want their dad to take them to the fair, Troy Whitworth wants to give him a serious kicking and a motley crew of mates want his ample supply of drugs and alcohol.

The production opened at the Royal Court to excellent reviews: "A wonderful, rollicking, dark comedy about contemporary life in rural England...the whole play is carried along by [Mark] Rylance's excellent, enigmatic Rooster." (Financial Times); "Perfectly judged production... the triumph belongs to Rylance for perfectly embodying Butterworth's vision of a vanished demonic magic." (Guardian); "Rylance's is an astonishing performance, which confirms that he is one of our finest stage actors." (Evening Standard); " is rich, strange and continuously gripping, ... one of the must-see events of the summer." (Telegraph).

Jerusalem's Olivier Award-winning design is by Ultz, with lighting design by Mimi Jordan Sherin and sound design by Ian Dickinson for Autograph. Composer is Stephen Warbeck.

Jerusalem will be produced by Royal Court Theatre Productions, Sonia Friedman Productions, Scott Rudin, Stuart Thompson, Roger Berlind and Robert G. Bartner.


Mark Rylance (Johnny 'Rooster' Byron) is an award-winning actor in theatre, film and television. He won raves earlier this season for his performance as 'Valere' in David Hirson's 'La Bête,' on Broadway and in the West End, directed by Matthew Warchus. He won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his New York stage debut as Robert in 'Boeing-Boeing.' He is a two-time winner of the Olivier Award for 'Johnny "Rooster" Byron' in Jerusalem (2010) and 'Benedick' in 'Much Ado About Nothing' (1993). He also won the 2010 Evening Standard Award for Jerusalem. Rylance was the Artistic Director for Shakespeare's Globe from 1996 to 2005 and also served as an Associate Actor of the RSC, acting in 48 plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

Mackenzie Crook (Ginger) Theatre includes: Jerusalem (Royal Court, West End), 'The Seagull' (Royal Court, Broadway), 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' (West End) and 'Exonerated' (Riverside). Film includes: "The Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy," "The Adventures of Tintin," "City of Ember," "Solomon Kane," "I Could Never Be Your Woman," "Churchill: The Hollywood Years," "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," "The Merchant of Venice," "The Brothers Grimm" and "Finding Neverland." Television includes: "The Office," "Demons," "Merlin," "Skins" and "Little Dorrit".

Jez Butterworth (Playwright) is the author of five plays; 'Mojo' (Royal Court 1995); 'The Night Heron' (Royal Court 2002); 'The Winterling' (Royal Court 2006); 'Parlour Song' (Almeida 2009) and Jerusalem (Royal Court 2009). 'Mojo,' 'The Night Heron' and 'Parlour Song' have also been produced in New York in acclaimed productions at Atlantic Theatre Company. He has written and directed two films: 'Mojo' (1998) starring Harold Pinter and 'Birthday Girl' (2002) starring Nicole Kidman. In 2009 he wrote and produced 'Fair Game,' starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. He is writing the screenplay for 'London Calling,' about the British punk rock band, 'The Clash.' He has won two Evening Standard Awards and an Olivier, Critics' Circle, Writers' Guild and George Devine Award. In 2007, he received The E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Director Ian Rickson's Broadway credits include the critically acclaimed Royal Court Theatre production of Chekhov's 'The Seagull,' starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Peter Sarsgaard and Mackenzie Crook and Conor McPherson's 'The Weir.' Rickson was Artistic Director at the Royal Court from 1998 to 2006, during which time he directed 'Krapp's Last Tape,' 'The Winterling,' 'Alice Trilogy,' 'The Sweetest Swing in Baseball,' 'Fallout,' 'The Night Heron,' 'Boy Gets Girl,'' Mouth to Mouth' (also in the West End), 'Dublin Carol,' 'The Weir' (also in the West End and on Broadway), 'The Lights,' 'Pale Horse' and 'Moj'o (also at the Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago), 'Ashes & Sand,' 'Some Voices,' 'Killers' and 'Wildfire.' Films include "Fallout" and "Krapp's Last Tape." He will direct Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon) in a new production of 'Hamlet' in London next year.

Mark Rylance (sat in chair) as Rooster in Royal Court Production of Jerusalem

Originally published on

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